Rockwell Draws the Common Cold

We drink plenty of liquids, wash our hands, avoid crowds, and what happens? In spite of every precaution almost all of us sooner or later come down with a common cold. In these sketches Norman Rockwell shows that this uncommonly annoying affliction succeeds in ruffling our dignity and spoiling our fun.

First page for The Common Cold, by Norman Rockwell
Read “The Common Cold” by Norman Rockwell from the January 27, 1945, issue of the Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

Featured image: Norman Rockwell / SEPS

Cover Collection: The Art of the Common Cold

It’s that time of year again where half of us are sniffling, sneezing, and wanting nothing more than to crawl back into bed. If misery loves company, you’ll love our vintage Post covers of people suffering from the common cold.

Common Cold
J. C. Leyendecker
March 10, 1917

In 1917 the way to take care of a cold was to curl up in a big quilt and soak your feet in a steaming tub. At least according to artist J.C. Leyendecker. Have a handkerchief handy for when the steam loosens up the nasal passages. Unfortunately, we haven’t improved this cold-treating technique much in the 101 years since this cover was published.

Doctor making housecall
George Hughes
March 25, 1961

Remember when doctors made house calls? Well, okay, we don’t either, but some Post cover artists remembered. Artist George Hughes shows us a doctor calling on a woman taken ill. Sort of. Actually, the Mrs. is seething while her hubby is diverting the doctor’s attention. Who is the patient here, anyway? Perhaps the doctor is just good at multi-tasking.

George Hughes
February 27, 1960

George Hughes shows a doctor who would be a good detective. Finding a sick little boy in a bed cluttered with this many toys was a good day’s work. Hey, when a guy isn’t feeling good, he needs his creature comforts around.

Doctor and the Dog
Dick Sargent
November 21, 1953

Keeping a close eye on the proceedings is the boy’s dog. A very large dog. Maybe this is why doctors don’t make house calls any more.

Missing the Dance
Norman Rockwell
January 23, 1937

What really stinks is when you’re sick during a big event. The young lady in Norman Rockwell’s 1937 cover is missing the big dance. Cough syrup, atomizer and hankies are poor substitutes for a pretty dress, corsage and dancing with a cute guy. This falls under the “Life is Unfair” category.

Sick Puppy
Norman Rockwell
March 10, 1923
If there’s anything worse than being sick, it is anxiously taking care of a loved one who is ill. Rockwell’s March 1923 cover shows us a boy tending to his under-the-weather puppy. That’s what best friends are for.